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The Miracle Mongers, an Exposé [Kindle Edition]

Harry Houdini
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Product Details

  • File Size: 207 KB
  • Print Length: 94 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B004HZXO3Y
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0083ZIUUQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,962 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Meowser
Format:Kindle Edition
After reading this book I felt both, terrified and relieved. This book focuses on debunking the claims of (with all credit to James Randi) whoo-whoo quackeries of the times. He breaks down every claim and then zones in every aspect of them and attacks them with a passion that is beyond time. I say this because some readers might be taken back by some of the language here. There isn't any vulgarity (that I remember) but it's definitely wrote in a style that makes one stop and reread a few lines more than once but his passion and anger towards these claims is incredibly evident and hits you in the gut over and over again. This book makes me feel relieved on the basis that there can be skeptics this devoted to the truth. There are modern day debunkers and if you're reading this book I'm sure you're familiar with them and how strong they fight but it's very nice to know that the passion they have dates back so far. Now, as far as the terrifying aspects. I went in expecting the typical magnets hid in ties, the psychic is pushing the planchette but just doesn't know it, etc, etc. What I didn't expect was how they drink boiling oil! Some of the claims in this book are, for lack of better word, hardcore. The terrific levels start to occur when you realize that society is being fooled by the likes of John Edwards currently. There was once a time when the spiritual folk would swallow red hot swords, drink boiling oil and dip their hands in liquid metal. Did you know that? I sure as hell didn't. With all this craziness and incredibly awe inspiring tricks happening Houdini was still skeptical. He still remained scientific and now, in a room of two hundred people wishing to speak to a dead loved one, a psychic says "I get the letter 'B' and 'water'" and every one buys in. Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good expose, though somewhat dated--Read it! March 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In this book Houdini gives away some of the long-guarded secrets of magic, such as Fire-eating, sword-swallowing, and poisonous reptile handling.
The problem is that he takes too long to come to the point, which is telling us how it works, he takes so long in fact, that if you asked me how these tricks work I wouldn't be able to tell you.
Well, go for it if you like this kind of stuff.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars long-winded but very interesting April 5, 2013
By Mia
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For those unfamiliar with Houdini, he had the utmost respect for magicians/illusionists and folks who did tricks to entertain and mystify crowds. But he despised those same practitioners who would take advantage of people in any respect and in his later life, he set about exposing a number of charlatans and giving away tricks to shield people from being duped. He was famous for de-bunking seances and mediums who could conjure ectoplasm -- not because he wanted to expose the trick (he respected how they did it) but because these people were taking advantage of grieving spouses and children and charging top dollar to contact their dead loved ones.

This book focuses a great deal on fire tricks (fire eating, heat resistance, etc.) which date back to pre-historic times and were used as proof that someone was superhuman or godlike because mortal are not immune to fire. He mostly takes umbrage with the fire illusionists of his day because they were quacks -- not only could they pull off impressive feats but they also were selling their elixirs for burns and healing products that were, in actuality, junk science but the performances that they gave lended undue credibility.

I would agree with other reviewers that this book is VERBOSE and very long-winded, although excellently researched. It's a bit of a slow read, but full of interesting tips on how anyone could be "fire resistant" if they had the same arsenal of trickery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I like book. It good book. November 15, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For a skeptic this book is pure heaven. I realize how stupid that sounds. Sorry. For a skeptic this book is really...good. Better? Hmmm. Let me try again. For a skeptic this book is a spectacular example of how far the movement has came and how much we owe to this man. That seems better to me. Nope. One more time. I like book. It good book. There we go!
Some of the claims of Houdini's time are a bit more over the top than the simple cold readers of today and thus, the debunking of said claims are equally over the top. There were multiple times when I had to put my Kindle down, go outside and just take a few deep breathes. If one comes across a charlatan who can swallow red hot swords by claiming they have the power of the gods, what's one to do? Well, swallow a sheath and try it yourself of course! There's some very heavy stuff in here that makes you one, appreciate how crazy/dedicated Houdini was to his second profession and two, donate to the JREF for keeping the spirit alive and well.
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